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People paying to use facilities don’t represent wider population
Paul Bedford Research director Retention Guru

It was interesting to read the recent article (HCM March 14, p32) based on my Black and White Retention reports.

The reports profiled almost 350,000 members – if published as an academic paper, this would make it one of the largest studies ever – and the operators involved represented the distribution of sectors across the UK, providing like-for-like information about membership retention. The results clearly show that people paying to use facilities don’t represent the full breadth of the population.

The results don’t take into account concessions, which may affect the proportion of public sector users, but these are not the intended participants of the study, which ultimately shows an increasing similarity in the profile of paying members across all sectors.

In the MOSAIC breakdown, by far the largest group was Liberal Opinions (100,447); the next largest group was only one-third that size. In addition, while some operators may assume they are opening up new markets, seven out of 10 reported new joiners had previously been members elsewhere.

While it may not make us warm and fuzzy inside, the data is a reflection of the way we design and run our facilities and market and sell memberships. If we want the data to show something else, we must introduce new approaches.

Ultimately the public sector will not survive unless it can become commercially viable as well as community focused, while private sector operators must differentiate themselves from each other in order to carve out their place in the market and demonstrate growth.


 


Photo: www.shutterstock.com

Results of the study didn’t take into account concessions in the public sector

Innovation vital to closing ‘authenticity gap’
Leon Houseman Marketing Manager Gladstone MRM

I was interested to read the recent business press coverage (Reuters, CNBC and the New York Times) of the latest Authenticity Gap study from global communications firm FleishmanHillard and its partner Lepere Analytics, as I believe its findings should be a wake-up call for the health and fitness industry.

The research identified a significant discrepancy between consumers’ expectations of leading brands and their actual experiences. This so-called ‘authenticity gap’, said to undermine customer confidence and business performance, was particularly pronounced in the area of innovation. The research looked at nine drivers of reputation, from ‘doing right’ to ‘customer care’. Of all these drivers, UK respondents cited ‘innovation’ as the most critical for reputation in 75 per cent of the industries analysed – yet in 65 per cent of cases, their experiences did not meet their expectations.

Health clubs are not immune. It’s vital that operators live up to consumers’ expectations, particularly when it comes to technological advancements, in order to close its own ‘authenticity gap’ between consumers’ expectations and experiences.


 


Photo: www.shutterstock.com

Innovation was found to be critical to a company’s reputation
 


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SELECTED ISSUE
Health Club Management
2014 issue 4

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Leisure Management - Write to reply

Letters

Write to reply


Do you have a strong opinion or disagree with somebody else’s views on the industry? If so, we’d love to hear from you – email: [email protected]


People paying to use facilities don’t represent wider population
Paul Bedford Research director Retention Guru

It was interesting to read the recent article (HCM March 14, p32) based on my Black and White Retention reports.

The reports profiled almost 350,000 members – if published as an academic paper, this would make it one of the largest studies ever – and the operators involved represented the distribution of sectors across the UK, providing like-for-like information about membership retention. The results clearly show that people paying to use facilities don’t represent the full breadth of the population.

The results don’t take into account concessions, which may affect the proportion of public sector users, but these are not the intended participants of the study, which ultimately shows an increasing similarity in the profile of paying members across all sectors.

In the MOSAIC breakdown, by far the largest group was Liberal Opinions (100,447); the next largest group was only one-third that size. In addition, while some operators may assume they are opening up new markets, seven out of 10 reported new joiners had previously been members elsewhere.

While it may not make us warm and fuzzy inside, the data is a reflection of the way we design and run our facilities and market and sell memberships. If we want the data to show something else, we must introduce new approaches.

Ultimately the public sector will not survive unless it can become commercially viable as well as community focused, while private sector operators must differentiate themselves from each other in order to carve out their place in the market and demonstrate growth.


 


Photo: www.shutterstock.com

Results of the study didn’t take into account concessions in the public sector

Innovation vital to closing ‘authenticity gap’
Leon Houseman Marketing Manager Gladstone MRM

I was interested to read the recent business press coverage (Reuters, CNBC and the New York Times) of the latest Authenticity Gap study from global communications firm FleishmanHillard and its partner Lepere Analytics, as I believe its findings should be a wake-up call for the health and fitness industry.

The research identified a significant discrepancy between consumers’ expectations of leading brands and their actual experiences. This so-called ‘authenticity gap’, said to undermine customer confidence and business performance, was particularly pronounced in the area of innovation. The research looked at nine drivers of reputation, from ‘doing right’ to ‘customer care’. Of all these drivers, UK respondents cited ‘innovation’ as the most critical for reputation in 75 per cent of the industries analysed – yet in 65 per cent of cases, their experiences did not meet their expectations.

Health clubs are not immune. It’s vital that operators live up to consumers’ expectations, particularly when it comes to technological advancements, in order to close its own ‘authenticity gap’ between consumers’ expectations and experiences.


 


Photo: www.shutterstock.com

Innovation was found to be critical to a company’s reputation

Originally published in Health Club Management 2014 issue 4

Published by Leisure Media Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385 | Contact us | About us | © Cybertrek Ltd